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Law Bulletin - July 2006

Government to reverse the effects of Barker decision [Liability]

The Government is to amend the Compensation Bill to reverse the effect of the House of Lords ruling in the case of Barker.

Asbestos case -v- National Dock Labour Board under NDLB scheme [Liability]

The claimants worked from 1955 to 1967 at Liverpool docks. They were employed by a company called Clan Line in the unloading of asbestos but the successor in title to their employer had since dissolved.

Using the DDA to win a personal injury claim [Liability]

The claimant broke her leg in a disabled toilet at an ice hockey rink. The disabled toilet was not big enough to accommodate her wheelchair.

No liability under the Highways Act for broken street furniture…but claim in common law [Liability]

The Highways Act does not create liability for defective street furniture – the only claim lies in negligence. In this case there was a defective bollard which was not properly housed in the road due to a crumbling hole in the road.

Stress claim succeeds where defendant knew of previous non-work related breakdowns [Liability]

The employee had had two previous bouts of post-natal depression. The employer knew about them. She later complained of being overworked and under stress due to an increase in her workload and the number of managers to whom she had to report.

Police Negligent in security action [Thompsons’ cases]

The claimant was a fire fighter. He was manoeuvring his appliance into its bay at Kensington Fire Station when a police officer on duty outside the nearby Israeli consulate raised a traffic block in his path causing him to suffer whiplash.

What is a road in a Road Traffic Accident claim? [Thompsons’ cases]

The defendant operated a business repairing camper vans from a workshop unit on an industrial estate. One of his vans slipped down a ramp injuring a member of the public.

Court pierces the corporate veil on asbestos case [Practice and Procedure]

Master Whitaker gave judgment in a show cause hearing, a fatal mesothelioma case where the deceased had worked for an employer from 1956 and was exposed to asbestos by the defendant which was a partnership prior to its incorporation in 1973.

Excellent deafness award [Damages]

The claimant was a fire fighter who had suffered damage to his hearing. Liability was admitted. As a result of his condition he was retired by the brigade at the age of 51. His evidence was that he would have worked until 55 had it not been for his deafness.

Medical evidence must be clear, court says [Damages]

The claimant had suffered two accidents at work. He was already suffering degeneration of a disc in his spine. The medical evidence was that the condition would have deteriorated without the accident and would have lead to the protrusion of the disc but that the injury had accelerated the onset by three years.